EVENTS

  • ADAPTING TO CHANGE: COMMUNITY FOOD ACTION WITH WESTSIDE FOOD COLLABORATIVE

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Advocacy, Dignified Food Access, Events, Food Hub, Food Justice, Mobile Markets, News, Poverty Reduction, Westside Food Collaborative // July 21, 2020

    This is the first in a series of blog posts featuring each of our Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network coordinators.


    Hillary Ko (she, her, hers) is Chinese-Canadian and a true Vancouverite. She represents the Westside Food Collaborative, which serves a very large area in Vancouver. Often, the West side is seen as an affluent area but parts of these communities do experience food insecurity and is often unseen or unaddressed.

    The Westside Food Collaborative is a Neighbourhood Food Network of community members and organizations working in just and sustainable food systems on Vancouver’s Westside, based out of Kitsilano Neighbourhood House.

    An image that says Celebrate Community Food Action, with photos of food

    This Network seeks to bring key organizations and community members to the table in order to understand barriers to food access in Vancouver’s Westside and to work towards addressing these barriers.

    For Hillary, community development and empowerment is what’s most important about working with Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks.

    “It is amazing to see the community come together to support each other and work together to address needs of the vulnerable population,” says Hillary. “I want to continue building connections and getting different partners to support each other in addressing the barriers to food security.”

    Food insecurity is one of the greatest needs in Vancouver that the Westside Food Collaborative strives to address, and typically the Network engages in gardening, food distribution, community meals, and cooking and nutrition workshops. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the network’s ability to respond to increasing needs.

    An outdoor image of Kitsilano Neighbourhood House, showing tables filled with grocery bags.

    When public gatherings were no longer possible, the Network began engaging in food recovery and offering a weekly emergency food response program. “Many have told us that our service of providing one hot meal and one large grocery bag helps them get through the week,” says Hillary. “It’s also the only time some people get out of their house and connect with other neighbours.”

    From a young age, Hillary understood the power of food, and this informs her work to support community food security.

    “Food has always been a big part of my life,” she says. “My best memories about food are when I learned how to make traditional Cantonese dishes with my grandma and when I invite friends and family over to make and eat food together.”

    An image of a person forming a large batch of Chinese dumplings.

    Challenges & Goals

    The greatest challenges facing neighbours of the Westside Food Collaborative are isolation and lack of community. Many people, especially seniors, are experiencing isolation and depression during this time. “We cannot reopen programs any time soon due to COVID measures,” Hillary explains, “but in the future, this is something that the Network will try to address by using food as the vehicle for community building.”

    The Westside Food Collaborative hopes to connect with organizations and businesses in the area that are providing services during COVID-19 and work together towards a more coordinated approach to community emergency responses.

    Learn more about Westside Food Collaborative and celebrate community food action:

  • VANCOUVER NEIGHBOURHOOD FOOD NETWORKS CELEBRATE 10 YEARS OF LOCAL FOOD WITH SUSTENANCE FESTIVAL

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Events, Grandview Woodland Food Connection, Little Mountain Riley Park Neighbourhood House, Mount Pleasant Food Network, News, Strathcona Community Centre, Village Vancouver, West End Neighbourhood Food Network // September 20, 2019

    This September marks the 10th annual Sustenance Festival, a food, art & culture celebration which brings community groups, artists, and advocates together who use food and art to cultivate dialogue, celebrate traditions, and push for social change.

    Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks have been longtime supporters of Sustenance Festival and are excited to participate again this year as community partners.

    Feasting for Change includes stories from the community about how Neighbourhood Food Networks have impacted their lives. Photo by Ian Marcuse.

    The 2019 Sustenance Festival program features the Feasting for Change exhibit at Roundhouse Community Centre. Centring Indigenous perspectives and curated by Dawn Morrison of Wild Salmon Caravan, this art exhibit explores themes of regeneration in relation to wild salmon and holistic perspectives on food, culture, and healing.

    Feasting For Change features visual art by csetkwe. Photo by Ian Marcuse.

    Last week, the Sustenance Festival launch and Feasting For Change exhibit opening followed traditional Coast Salish protocol to honour the work of contributing artists, community groups, and matriarchs from Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh. Volunteers served food by Kurdish- and Ugandan-Canadian women as guests appreciated drumming led by Sto:lo elder Eddie Gardner and original music by local singer-songwriter Ava Caldwell.

    Art installations include Wild Salmon Caravan bike floats. Photo by Ian Marcuse.

    The exhibit gallery also features work from the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks. It highlights the VNFN’s 25-year history of community food initiatives and stories of change from people in our local communities.

    Kaitlyn, Erica, and Ian from the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks at the Feasting for Change exhibit opening.

    In recent years, Sustenance Festival has worked hard to uplift issues of food justice which persist locally and impact a wide range of marginalized communities in Vancouver. Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks’ work brings an important neighbourhood-focus to local food issues.

    This year, Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks events at Sustenance include:

    Other upcoming Sustenance Festival events at Roundhouse Community Centre include a workshop on cooking with Chinatown dried goods and a panel discussion exploring cultural perspectives on food waste.

    Sustenance Festival runs from September through October. All programming is free or low-cost and led by non-profit community groups and community centres. See the full program of events at sustenancefestival.ca


    Sustenance Festival is an annual initiative of the Arts, Culture & Engagement team at the Vancouver Parks Board which features food, art, and culture events such as family-friendly celebrations, workshops, and dialogues. This festival centers community food traditions alongside artists, activists, community groups, and social service organizations across the City of Vancouver.

  • SPRING GARDENING WORKSHOPS & EVENTS

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Community Gardening and Urban Farming, Events, Gordon Neighbourhood House, Grandview Woodland Food Connection, Hastings Sunrise Community Food Network, Little Mountain Riley Park Neighbourhood House, Marpole Oakridge Neighbourhood Food Network, Neighbourhood Food Networks, Renfrew Collingwood Food Justice, Seed Library, Uncategorized, Village Vancouver, West End Neighbourhood Food Network // March 12, 2019

    The ground is thawing and soon it’ll be time to start working the soil again.

    Whether you’re a long-time gardener or brand new to growing your own food, the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks have got you covered this spring. Join an upcoming workshop to learn skills on early spring planting, growing Japanese vegetables, making the most of patios or small garden spaces, how to manage pests, and more.

    There are also opportunities across the city to learn new skills, meet other gardeners, and volunteer in your community.

    Read on to learn more.


    March 16, 2019 // Garden Work Party & Early Spring Planting workshop
    50 East 30th Avenue from 12:00-2:00 PM
    Riley Park Community Garden

    Join Riley Park gardeners to prepare the orchard area and for an Early Spring Planting workshop led by Chris Billion of One Love Farm (starts at 1pm). Gardeners will be planting the bed for the new residents of the Modular Housing unit at 37th/ Main. This will be the first of three seed planting workshops this year with Chris to demonstrate year-round tips to grow vegetables.

    For more info contact info@rileyparkgarden.org.


    Mar 17, 2019 // Community Potluck, Seed Library & Workshop – West End
    870 Denman Street from 1:00-2:30PM
    West End Community Centre, Barclay Room

    Join West End Neighbourhood Food Network and Village Vancouver at their monthly family friendly gatherings. Bring something yummy, share some good food and conversation with neighbours. Each month they present a mini-workshop on a different food and/or gardening related topic. The topic for March is amendments and fertilizers for patio and balcony gardeners.

    Register online or by calling 604-257-8333, reference activity #199941


    March 17, 2019 // West End Urban Garden Club meeting
    870 Denman Street from 2:30-3:30PM
    West End Community Centre, Barclay Room

    The featured activity at this March meeting will be making seed packets. Organized by West End Neighbourhood Food Network, a group which shares information, organizes food and gardening workshops, saves and distributes seed, explores possibilities for creating more gardening spaces in the West End, and engages in other food and gardening related activities.

    Register online or by calling 604-257-8333, reference activity #199951


    March 19, 2019 // Community Gardens Networking and Meetup
    3981 Main Street, Vancouver from 6:30-8:30 PM
    Little Mountain Neighbourhood House

    Community garden organizers and members from across Vancouver are invited to get together, share experiences and learn from one other. Join Riley Park Community Garden and Vancouver Parks Board (VPB) to share successes on how to engage community, what is working in your garden, common challenges, and how to work together.

    Reserve your spot here. For more info, contact Joanne at joanne_mackinnon@lmnhs.bc.ca.


    March 21, 2019 // Seed Swap – Collingwood
    5288 Joyce Street from 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM
    Collingwood Neighbourhood House

    Join us for our first seed swap of the year to trade or purchase new seeds and get your garden ready for the spring season! We will accept cash or swaps of seeds from your own garden in exchange for seeds from our collection. Find Renfrew-Collingwood Food Security Institute in the main entrance lobby of Collingwood Neighbourhood House.


    March 21, 2019 // Garden Volunteer Meeting – West End
    1019 Broughton Street at 6:00 PM
    Gordon Neighbourhood House

    The sun’s out and temperatures are warming up, which means the growing season is just around the corner! Interested in getting involved in the gardens at Gordon Neighbourhood House this spring and summer? Come learn about our garden programs at this garden volunteer meeting.

    For more information, email joey@gordonhouse.org


    March 21, 2019 // Start Your Own Seedlings Workshop
    5288 Joyce Street from 6:00-8:00PM
    Collingwood Neighbourhood House

    Save money, and grow a wider variety of garden veggies by starting your own seedlings! This workshop will go over everything you need to know to start your own vegetable seedlings: From what soil to use, to moisture and light requirements, to troubleshooting, and building your own DIY seedling setup.

    Workshop is by Donation $5-$20 – no one turned away for lack of funds. RSVP to foodsecurity@cnh.bc.ca OR 604-435-0323 x. 237


    March 23, 2019 // Seed Library Pop-up – Grandview-Woodland
    1661 Napier Street from 2:00-4:00PM
    Britannia Branch, Vancouver Public Library

    Get your garden going with seeds for vegetables, herbs, and more. Browse the Grandview Woodland Community Seed Library collection, borrow seeds, and check out the library’s resources on seed saving and gardening. Explore their seasonal goodies and discover new seed varieties! Pick up kale, tomato, and other seeds to start this month and next.

    Seed quantities limited; please RSVP to gwcseedlibrary@gmail.com


    March 23, 2019 // Introduction to Organic Gardening workshop
    2929 E. 22nd Ave from 10:00AM-12:00PM
    Renfrew Park Community Centre

    Village Vancouver presents this workshop covering the basics of planning, preparing and starting a food garden. You’ll learn some simple techniques from Rhiannon Johnson for starting plants indoors and in the garden. Be rewarded with the taste of freshly grown veggies this season!

    Register online or by calling 604-257-8388, reference activity #196424


    March 24, 2019 // Introduction to Early Spring Japanese Vegetables workshop
    2690 Larch Street from 1:00-3:00PM
    Kitsilano Community Centre

    Start the gardening season by growing these early spring Japanese vegetables. Easy to grow, nutritionally dense, yet not readily available, make the most of your garden by growing these wonderful veggies. This hands-on Westside Neighbourhood Food Network workshop led by Tonari Gumi Garden Club will focus on five early spring vegetables. Participants will be offered additional seeds and plant starts, along with a sampling of these vegetables in delicious, yet simple Japanese dishes.

    Register online or by calling 604-257-6980, reference activity #200630


    March 26, 2019 // Pests! Who’s Eating My Lettuce & What To Do About It
    870 Denman Street from 6:30-8:30PM
    West End Community Centre, Bidwell Room

    As anyone who’s ever gardened before knows, pests can sometimes be a real problem in the garden (and can be particularly discourging if you’re a new gardener). This Village Vancouver/West End Neighbourhood Food Network Urban Garden Club workshop will be led by Karen Ageson from Farmers on 57th. Participants will learn various ecologically sound techniques for minimizing damage and disappointment caused by pests in your garden.

    Cost is $13. Register online or by calling 604-257-8333, reference activity #199953


    March 27, 2019 // Gardening and Pizza Lunch
    3096 E. Hastings from 1:00-2:00PM
    Hastings Community Centre

    Come together with Hastings-Sunrise gardeners Lauren and Shayna to work in the veggie garden and make pizza with the harvested ingredients. Enjoy healthy snacks created from the abundance of our community garden while chatting about healthy cooking, eating, and gardening.

    Register online or by calling (604) 718-6222, reference activity #204668.


    March 28, 2019 // Growing Plenty of Potatoes
    6810 Main St from 6:30-8:30PM
    Sunset Community Centre

    Learn how and when to plant, grow, harvest, and store potatoes in this Village Vancouver workshop with Rhiannon Johnson. We’ll discuss the best varieties for our area, preparation for planting, feeding, preventing problems, and much more for growing tasty potatoes! Each participant will take potato ‘seed’ home with them.

    Register online or by calling 604-718-6505, reference activity #202822


    March 30, 2019 // Introduction to Organic Gardening workshop
    1318 Cartwright Street from 10:00AM-12:00PM
    False Creek Community Centre

    Village Vancouver presents this workshop covering the basics of planning, preparing and starting a food garden. You’ll learn some simple techniques from Rhiannon Johnson for starting plants indoors and in the garden. Be rewarded with the taste of freshly grown veggies this season!

    Register online or by calling 604-257-8195, reference activity #192441


    April 4 to September 5, 2019 // Gardening Course: Grow Your Own Food
    700 West 57th Ave from 6:30-8:00pm, every 2nd Thursday
    The Farmers on 57th at George Pearson Centre

    Come experience the joy of growing your favourite vegetables under the guidance of professional gardeners and educators, Karen Ageson and Jess Henry. The learning will be hands-on: you will plan, plant and tend your own garden plot, with instruction and support throughout the growing season. Along the way, you’ll learn about garden planning, soil health, seed starting, transplanting, weeding, watering and organic pest control.

    $300 for 12 instructional sessions, supplies and use of a garden plot approx. 4’ x 8.′ We encourage you to garden with your family—registration cost is per plot, not per person. All supplies are included (except gardening gloves) and the food you grow is yours to enjoy.

    Register online to reserve your spot in the course. If you have any questions or concerns, contact karen@farmerson57th.ca or 778-997-3609.


    April 6, 2019 // West End Food Series: Growing Japanese Vegetables Workshop
    1019 Broughton Street from 1:00-3:00pm
    Gordon Neighbourhood House

    Come learn how to grow and cook delicious Japanese vegetables. In this hands-on workshop, Makiko from Tonari Gumi will show us how to grow and cook simple recipes featuring five popular Japanese vegetables and herbs.

    Free to attend. Register online. For more info, contact foodseries@gordonhouse.org or call 604-683-2554.


    April 16, 2019 // Veggie Gardening for Beginners Workshop
    5288 Joyce Street from 6:00-8:00pm
    Collingwood Neighbourhood House

    Always wanted to learn how to grow your food but don’t know where to start? Have you tried but been met with frustration? This beginners-level gardening workshop will go over all the basics you need to know to start growing your own vegetables: Soil health basics, planting (from seed and transplanting), watering, fertility, harvesting, plant health, and troubleshooting. Learn about the most common vegetable plant families and what they need to thrive!

    Free or by donation. RSVP to foodsecurity@cnh.bc.ca to reserve your spot. For more information, call 604 435 0323.


    April 27, 2019 // Seed Library Pop Up
    1661 Napier Street from 2:00-4:00pm
    Britannia Branch, Vancouver Public Library

    Get your garden going with seeds to grow vegetables, herbs, and more with a collection of seasonal goodies and new varieties! At this Grandview Woodland Community Seed Library event, sign up as a seed library member, browse the collection, and borrow seeds. Pick up bean, cucumber, and other seeds to start this and next month.

    Seed quantities limited; please RSVP to gwcseedlibrary@gmail.com or through the Facebook event.


    May 9, 2019 // Indigenous Plant Walk on Wild & Native Medicinals
    1661 Napier Street from 6:30-8:30pm
    Britannia Community Centre, meet in the school garden at the far west end of the parking lot and skateboard courts.

    Lori Snyder is an Indigenous Herbalist, educator, storyteller, artist and Mother. Lori hosts workshops teaching about our living world, how to access its wisdom and to remember our stewardship. Come out and discover how to identify, when best to harvest & sample products in this interactive workshop. Meet in the Britannia school garden, far west end of the parking lot and skateboard courts.

    Cost is $25. Register by calling 604-718-5800.


    May 22, 2019 // Apothecary Garden Plants for Your Well-being workshop
    1661 Napier Street from 6:00-9:00pm
    Britannia Community Centre, Youth room

    Explore the exciting world of the Apothecary Garden and learn about the many herbs and their power to cure, legends and fairy tales to discover; the science of remedies preparation, and administration routes. Participants will have an opportunity to taste herbal teas and make a take-home remedy with medicinal and cosmetic properties to heal minor skin wounds, cuts and burns, sunburn, red and inflamed skin, and dry winter skin!

    Cost is $20. Register online or by calling 604-718-5800.


    June 6, 2019 // Building Healthy Soil workshop
    870 Denman Street from 6:30-8:30pm
    West End Community Centre

    Learn some rudimentary soil biology and the importance of feeding your soil in building a healthy garden with Karen Ageson from Farmers on 57th. You’ll walk away with some basic techniques, and the know how to help your garden thrive.

    $13. Register online or by calling (604) 257-8333, reference activity #213177.